Guillermo del Toro's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

At Comic-Con, Miramax Films premiered the movie trailer for the Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, a horror film remake co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro. The trailer (and additional footage) went over big in San Diego, and now MySpace has the trailer online for everyone to check out. Watch it now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Briefly: When Disney shuttered Miramax last year, one of the handful of films left in limbo was Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, a remake of the 1973 TV movie of the same name. The remake was written and produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by newcomer Troy Nixey. It’s a good sign that Disney likes the movie enough to keep it in house and release it, and given that this is an R-rated horror film I’m not going to be too worried about the January 21 release date. THR says the film will actually carry the Miramax banner.

As EW says, the film “centers on a young girl (Bailee Madison) who is set to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in an old mansion they are renovating. She unwittingly unleashes malevolent creatures that try to destroy her entire family.” Director Nixey is a former comic book artist and, based on his short Latchkey’s Lament, a promising filmmaker. I’m excited to see the trailer (at Comic Con, hopefully) and am thrilled that his movie won’t be lost in the Miramax morass.

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Sarah Polley is putting together a film she’ll direct as a follow-up to the sad and terrific Away From Her, and she’s just landed Sarah Silverman to appear alongside Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams. Take This Waltz is about “a young woman (Williams) whose struggles with infidelity leads her to the realization that she may be addicted to the honeymoon period of her relationships.”

Rogen’s character is married to Williams;  Silverman plays Rogen’s sister. Based on what we’ve heard of the script, which Polley also wrote, this will probably be tipped slightly more to the dramatic side of the scale, though I know it has significant funny aspects. I’m always happy to see comediennes play drama, so I hope Silverman’s role isn’t purely intended as comic relief. [Variety]

After the break, the Kennedys come to life (again) and Richard Gere partners up with Topher Grace. Read More »

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Tracy Morgan is set to take a turn in a police drama called Son of No One, in which he’ll play a role originally set for Terrence Howard. Co-stars are Katie Holmes (continuing her comeback streak), Juliette Binoche and Channing Tatum, with Ray Liotta and Al Pacino. Dito Montiel directs.

Channing is the lead character, “a young cop assigned to a precinct in the working class neighborhood where he grew up, with an old secret surfacing and threatening to destroy his life and family.” Morgan will play a friend of Channing’s character. This could be a good move for the actor; I’d love to see Morgan break away from his increasingly predictable comic persona to show some dramatic chops. [THR]

After the break, Sean Bean and Danny Dyer join a sorta-Ian Fleming biopic and Kate Hudson joins a romance. Read More »

Three Films Added to 2010 Sundance Film Festival

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The Sundance Institute announced today the addition of three world premieres which will screen out of competition at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival:

  • It’s a Wonderful Afterlife: Bend it Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha and co-screenwriter Paul Mayeda Berges return to Sundance with a comedy centered on an Indian mother who discovers that finding the perfect son-in-law can be murder. Staring Shabana Azmi, Goldy Notay, Sendhil Ramamurthy, and Sally Hawkins.
  • The Kids are Alright: Laurel Canyon director Lisa Cholodenko returns to Sundance with a soty of two children conceived by artificial insemination who bring their birth father into their family life. Written by Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko, and starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson, Mark Ruffalo, and Annette Bening. Cholodenko received the 1998 Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance for High Art.
  • The Romantics: Director and screenwriter Galt Niederhoffer returns to Sundance with an adaptation of her novel, The Romantics, a zeitgeist love story and generational comedy, takes place over the course of one night at a deluxe seaside wedding. The cast includes Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel, Anna Paquin, Adam Brody, Malin Ackerman, Elijah Wood, Candice Bergen, Jeremy Strong, and Dianna Agron. Niederhoffer received the 2007 Sundance Audience Award for producing Grace is Gone. She also produced the Sundance Film Festival films Lonesome Jim, Dedication, Diminished Capacity, Birds of America, and Hurricane.

the extra man
American Splendor directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini return to Sundance with The Extra Man, a comedy which will screen in the Premieres section. Based on a novel by Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death), the film tells the story of a down-and-out playwright who escorts wealthy widows in Manhattan’s Upper East Side takes a young aspiring writer under his wing. The cast includes Kevin Kline, Paul Dano, John C. Reilly, and Katie Holmes. After the jump we have photos, a poster, and a very extended plot synopsis from this upcoming film.
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Here are your casting notes for the morning before Page 2 hits. Katie Holmes is on an upswing and Morgan Freeman gets into comedy. I’d love to see him do a lot more comedy, so long as it’s not along the lines of Bruce Almighty, and hopefully this new R-rated project would do the trick. Read More »

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